Basics Of Interior Decoration For Your New Home

Living room with leafy wallpaper and yellow pillows

Basics Of Interior Decoration For Your New Home

Have you ever been in a room that makes you want to be there all day because everything feels interconnected and means something? Or have you ever been in a room and you wished you had the same thing because everything feels just right? Well, the answer is yes you can. You can achieve that effect in your own home and transform your home to look and feel unique. With just a little knowledge of basic interior decoration principles, you can achieve that beauty and ambiance with your room without being a pro.

When you know the basic interior decoration principles you can change any room and any space to look extraordinary. A good design is not just placing beautiful things in the room or area neither is it not only about the aesthetic facet. It’s about how the elements in the space communicate with each other in cohesiveness and harmony to bring meaning.

To come up with a great design for your room or any space, there are 6 fundamental principles that are keys to creating inviting spaces that family and friends will live to spend time in. These include Balance, Harmony, Rhythm, proportion, emphasis, and contrast.


In design, balance creates a feeling of stability. It is all about equalizing and placing objects so that they create visual equilibrium. With balance you have to distribute the weight of the elements such as colors, texture, and shape to get that feeling of unity. There are 3 different ways to achieve balance.

Symmetrical or Formal

Symmetrical means evenly split. Applying that to interior decoration means that the space is evenly split into two sides to have the same arrangement and design on both sides. Simply put, it’s a mirror-image of parts on each side of a center point. This usually applies to traditional or formal spaces.

The above image is an excellent example of symmetrical balance. When we use the sofa as the focal point, we have the same design on both sides. We have two chairs and two side tables with flowers, two pillows on both sides of the sofa and the center table. It must be noted here that when you are doing symmetrical design and the design space is 99.9% symmetrical and there is one thing that is throwing it off, your design is still going to be symmetrical. So, let’s say for example if, in the picture above, we have the flower on the center table to the left and a jar to the right, your design is still symmetrical.

Asymmetrical or Informal

It is not ordered as symmetrical balance in that there are different objects on either side of a central point. It is not a mirror image of parts on each side of a focal point. With this type of balance, textures, colors, and objects are balanced but without exact duplication.

Using the image above as an example, if I cut the room in halves, you’ve got different objects on each side. You’ve got different types of plants on either side of the room and there is even shelves and chairs on one side of the room and not the other side. This is a perfect example of asymmetrical design.

Radial balance

Radial balance is achieved when there is a balance created from a focal point, radiation outwards to other elements around it. If you have a round dining table, it’s going to be a good example of radial balance because you have a round central piece with chairs coming out of it.


Harmony in interior design is created when all the elements act together to create a unified and cohesive composition in the sense that all of the elements of your design fit together. Each part of the composition belongs together in some way even if it is not identical to anything else to create a sense of restfulness. Simply put, it is when variety and unity are effectively combined. For example, you can create harmony by using just one color, even though there is a variation in your forms, shape, size, and texture.

Using the design above as an example, what unifies this design is the common tile design for the walls and floor and smooth textures. What gives this design variety is the wooden round and rectangular table and the use of gold color for the light, pull-up curtain, and the table. This provides interest for the eye to look at.


In design, rhythm is all about creating repetition patterns and contrast to create visual interest. This will help create some sort of continuous movement or path to carry the viewer’s eyes around. Whenever you look at a design or space, your eye moves throughout that space subconsciously so whatever type of rhythm is used in that space is the way that your eye is going to move subconsciously within that design space. You can achieve this by using the same color or shape at different intervals. Its purpose is to move your eye around the room. Rhythms are in different types.

Rhythm by repetition

It means anything in a design that is being repeated. It can be in the form of repeated forms, shapes, colors or lines.

In the picture, there are some a couple of things you can see are being repeated. The light fixtures, the lines on the floor and, the shape and hardware of the cabinet.

Rhythm by gradation

This is when sizes of shapes go from small to large or color values go from light to dark. Let’s take a look at the picture below. We see gradation being used with the size of the light stand. It starts with the long piece and moves to the smaller piece.

Rhythm by opposition

This is when any of the elements change abruptly. If you have a dramatic taste you are going to like this kind of rhythm. In the picture below, we have the picture of the wall that moves from a teal and white color to a yellow color and an orange color.

Scale and proportion

If you have ever been in a small will where the furniture occupies the space, you will understand the importance of scale. Scale is how the sizes of objects relate to each other in the space. To achieve a good scale, it is important to use objects that are appropriate for human dimensions and the right size for the space they occupy. Proportion is about the ratio between the sizes of one element to another. It is how the object relates to the overall context. For instance, when deciding on a table and a lamp to put on that table, proportion is important. You can’t fit a big lamp on a small table neither can you fit a small lamp on a big table. Well, you can, it will just be out of proportion. The table size, lamp size, and even the lampshade and base all need to be in proportion to each other. When designing a room, good proportion is very important, the lights, tables, and chairs should all be thought of as one element.

Emphasis and focal point

Emphasis often has points of interest such as paintings, aquarium, or beautiful furniture. It is basically any dominant items in the room that draw your attention. It can be a large item, it can be a group of colors, it can be something bright. It can be anything that as soon as your eye automatically points out this item or series of items. To create emphasis, you can use furniture groupings, patterns, lightings, size, color, accessories, etc. An example is when you walk into a room and they have a giant fireplace, then the fireplace is probably going to be the point of a focal point. Another example is when you enter a place that doesn’t necessarily have a large item that your eye automatically goes to but the color of the room is all white or light colors and there are different items that are light green in that space, then the emphasis is going to be the color green. It doesn’t have to be a large item, it can be a multiple item depending on how the design is going. A room where everything gets equal importance will seem boring. You need a focal point or anchor to break the monotony of the space.

Using the images above as an example, in the first picture the emphasis will be on the green background behind the tv. The emphasis in the second picture is on the red color on the wall and the top drawers. Your eye is automatically drawn to these colors when you enter that space.


You can achieve contrast in many ways. In interior design, it is important to put elements in opposition to each other by their color, shape, texture, material, or the scale to warm up a space. To achieve this sort of principle, you can pair elements in different ways. Pair light with dark colors, textured with non-textured surfaces, and large elements with small elements to create amazing interior designs anyone will fall in love with.

With these design ideas put into practice, you can now start decorating your newly purchased home or an existing one to look amazing.